Search

New Year’s Honours: Olympic long-distance runner David Bedford OBE vomited during first London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 January 2014

David Bedford running on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

David Bedford running on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Pic By Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London NW3 7QX Tel 020 7794 3008 e.mail n.sutton@btinternet.com

For years, former world record holder David Bedford wondered if he would ever get a nod from the Queen as he watched other athletes pick up honours for their feats.

But the wait was worth it for the marathon runner and former race director of the London Marathon, who has finally been recognised with an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Lifelong Hampstead resident Mr Bedford, 64, was forced to wait until the evening of his birthday, the day before New Year’s Eve, to publicly celebrate the news.

“It feels great” the father-of-one said. “The OBE covers most of my life from when I was 16 or 17, because it takes into account my running in the old days, moving through athletics administration and ending with a wonderful 20 years at the London Marathon.

“Over the years you see an awful lot of people receive honours and I wondered whether anyone would deem to give me one.

“The older you get, the less likely I think you feel it is, but I was absolutely delighted.”

Mr Bedford celebrated his honour and his birthday, with a couple of beers in The Flask pub, Flask Walk, Hampstead, and a meal with his partner in Villa Bianca, Perrin’s Court.

He named the best moment of his 10-year running career as breaking the world record for the 10,000 metres in 1973, the year before he retired from athletics because of injuries.

But he also said that winning the Southern Athletics Cross Country Junior Championship and the Senior Men’s Championship titles within an hour of each other in Parliament Hill in 1969 was a career highlight.

He also ran in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Mr Bedford stepped down as race director of the London Marathon in 2012 after 10 years in the role, having been involved with the marathon more generally since 1986.

He took part in the very first London Marathon in 1981 after a night of heavy drinking at a nightclub, with no training and a stomach full of curry.

“Everything ended up on the track,” Mr Bedford, of East Heath Road, said. “But it has prompted me to tell people that they must prepare for the marathon these days otherwise it will be as hard for them as it was for me.”

Mr Bedford cannot run nowadays following a knee replacement last year, but the shaggy-haired athlete can still be spotted walking briskly around Hampstead Heath in his trademark red socks.

In 2004, he sued the owners of directory enquiries provider 118 118 for using his distinctive likeness in their advertisements.

The co-founder of Heath Hands, a volunteer organisation that helps preserve Hampstead Heath’s special character, is currently chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations‎Road Running Commission.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 10:48

A murder investigation has been launched after a 48-year-old man with a fatal stab wound was found on a 189 bus in Marylebone.

Thu, 16:32

Camden children took to the stage today with the cast of hit production STOMP as part of a campaign to encourage exercise across the borough.

Thu, 15:39

The struggle for the marginal parliamentary seat of Hornsey and Wood Green has kicked off – with Labour MP Catherine West and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Dawn Barnes fighting over the key issue of Brexit.

Thu, 15:29

The parliamentary candidate is pleased that ex-MP David Ward has been sacked as a Lib Dem election candidate after accusing “the Jews” of atrocities against the Palestinians.

Thu, 15:01

A new action group urges residents to make their views known on “the most significant re-landscaping of the Golders Green neighbourhood since its creation” – with new houses and shops and the demolition of the Clock Tower War Memorial proposed.

Thu, 12:44

Part of the Northern line between Camden and Edware will be closed while a track is replaced and the overground will also be partially closed.

Thu, 11:50

The suspect exposed himself to two women after asking them for directions to the nearest toilets and started to perform a sex act.

Thu, 10:43

The creperie, which attracts celebrity customers such as Kate Moss and Harry Styles, could close as the owner is being forced to pay back the majority of a £15,000 electricity bill which he believes he could not have run up

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now